Advisers encourage students to prepare for internships

Dalton Bergan

Internships can be make-or-break opportunities, allowing students to gain real-word experiences before possibly landing careers after college. 

In some cases, an internship is the first professional experience a student can get while in college. Although internships can be an important step in gaining the experience needed to build a resume, some students may have trouble finding one.

Employers might not be looking to hire freshmen as interns, but that doesn’t mean students can’t start preparing early.

“[Students] should be attending their first career fair as a freshman so they can start making connections,” said Joely Swenson, program coordinator at Engineering Career Services. “Hopefully they can use those when they start getting internship experiences.”

Taren Crow, director of Career Services for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said students should be getting more serious about internships during their sophomore years but should be working on their resumes and getting outside experience in clubs and organizations on campus.

“I have known freshmen to get internships, but it’s not as common,” Crow said. “I’ve even seen some organizations who require you to be a junior or a senior when you do your internship, but they want you to have one or two previous internships also.”

When searching for an internship, Crow said it’s important to make sure students are searching for one that works with their interests. Students can start by doing some research about companies they would like to intern at or by checking out sites with job postings such as CyHire.

“Any employer who’s looking for an [ISU] student will probably have their positions posted on CyHire,” Crow said. “Also students may want to look to see if there are job boards related to their industries or to a specific geographical area that they’re interested in.”

In addition to looking for internships online, students can also take the opportunity to network in person. Talking with people could lead to opportunities students might have not considered otherwise.

“A lot of students really rely on job boards and things like that, and that’s not always the most efficient way to go about it,” Crow said. “Most students have much bigger networks than they imagine they have … they can open up a lot of other opportunities that you might not find on job boards.”

Swenson also said building a strong network can help when it comes to finding possible internships.

“Students need to start networking right away and not wait until they’re actively looking,” Swenson said. “If they wait until they’re actively looking, it’s usually too late.”

Swenson said career fairs are great places to start networking, and that all students should be attending them and making connections.

Eric Swanberg, sophomore in software engineering, said the connections he made by attending the career fair landed him the internship at Maverick, a software management company, that he will be starting next semester.

“I walked up to a random booth at the career fair because they looked interesting and the work that they did for my major,” Swanberg said. “I think the stuff I’ve been learning in classes is an obvious direct benefit, but I know [my internship is] going to be teaching me a lot, too.”

Outside of classroom experience, students can build their resumes by getting involved with on-campus organizations or by taking part in any other events or extra-curriculars that could add to their skill sets.

“[Students] need to get some leadership skills through clubs and organizations, even if it’s not directly related to their major,” Swenson said. “Employers are looking for good leadership skills and communication skills, so they need to work on those types of things.”

Career services can also help students in the process of applying for internships. Students can do anything from improving a resume to practicing a mock interview.

Each undergraduate college, and the graduate colleges of veterinary medicine and business, has its own career services. Visit for more information.